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2008 CHL Import Draft report

Notes from the annual junior leagues' Import Draft

Thursday was draft time again. After the NHL Entry Draft, the Canadian Hockey League, the union of the most important American junior leagues, has had its team to choose the import players who will be likely to spend the next season playing in the Quebec Major Junior, Ontario or Western Hockey League.

While the last few seasons have seen an exodus of Czech and Slovak players, this year things went differently as the first five selections has been spent on Russian players, like never before. Also Belarusians have been took into deep consideration as they ended the draft with xyz players picked.
Nikita Filatov, who was chosen sixth overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets less than week ago, was the first name called (Sudbury Wolves, OHL), followed by Dmitri Kulikov (Drummondville Voltigeurs, QMJHL), Maksim Trunev (Portland Winter Hawks, WHL), Edgar Rybakov (Erie Otters, OHL) and Vyacheslav Voinov (Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL). Last year’s draft seen a top five made up of two Czechs, one Swiss, one Swede and one Dane. Two years ago, three Czechs, one Latvian and one Swede.

With the sixth selection the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL took Finn left defender Tommi Kivistö, a product of Helsingin Jokerit’s system. 2007 import draft had to wait up to the thirteen overall pick to see the first Finn player, big-shooted Jyri Niemi, chosen by the Saskatoon Blades, who spent the last season there and was then drafted by the New York Islanders in the last weekend.

Andrei Loktionov (picked up by Los Angeles Saturday) was drafted by OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, then it was the turn of the Czech Republic as Victoriaville Tigres of the QMJHL spent the eighth call on big sized right winger Andrej Nestrasil from HC Slavia Prague. As a comparison let’s remember that Czechs had six out of the last seven first overall picks.

Ninth and tenth picks were other first timers: Prince George Cougars selected German junior league’s top scorer Jerome Flaake, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, and Windsor Spitfires decided to grab blue chip prospect Richard Panik from Slovakia.

It's needed to browse down to the forteenth pick to see the first Swede name, Simon Olsson, drafted by the P.E.I. Rocket out of USHL's Chicago Steel.

Luca Cunti was taken with the seventeenth overall pick, making it the first Swiss to be chosen. Probably he wants to play Major Junior hockey after his USHL experience. Not much later sized Sergei Sheleg has became the first drafted Belarusian, at 22.

As said, three players went drafted out of non-elite nations. Despite Kazakhstan has a strong program, its players rarely play outside of the former-Soviet countries. Things can slightly change after Ottawa 67's claimed the quick winger Yakov Vorobiev with the 70th overall pick.
Italian Marco Insam was re-drafted by Niagara with the 100th pick, after being drafted and cut in the training camp with Regina Pats last season.
Mitch Morgan is likely to represent Belgium in the CHL as he has been drafted by QMJHL’s Val d’Or Foreurs. He spent the last season with in the Kolner Haie organization.

On a side note, the Bashkirov twins will come back in Canada after the season spent in Quebec two years ago. Ruslan was chosen by Peterborough, while Roman by Sarnia.

It’s still unclear which players will decide to try the jump overseas and if they eventually can pass through all the cuts.

PickNameTeamLeague
1ru Nikita FilatovSudbury WolvesOHL
2ru Dmitry KulikovDrummondville VoltigeursQMJHL
3ru Maksim TrunevPortland Winter HawksWHL
4ru Edgar RybakovErie OttersOHL
5ru Vyacheslav VoinovMoncton WildcatsQMJHL
6fi Tommi KivistöRed Deer RebelsWHL
7ru Andrei LoktionovWindsor SpitfiresOHL
8cz Andrej NestrasilVictoriaville TigresQMJHL
9de Jerome FlaakePrince George CougarsWHL
10sk Richard PanikWindsor SpitfiresOHL
11ru Dmitri KostromitinMontreal JuniorsQMJHL
12cz Robin SoudekEdmonton Oil KingsWHL
13cz Adam SedlakPeterborough PetesOHL
14se Simon OlssonP.E.I. RocketQMJHL
15cz Tomas KundratekMedicine Hat TigersWHL
16se William WallenMississauga St. Michael's MajorsOHL
17ch Luca CuntiRimouski OceanicQMJHL
18sk Dalibor BortnakKamloops BlazersWHL
19cz Tomas RachunekSault Ste. Marie GreyhoundsOHL
20de Toni RitterMontreal JuniorsQMJHL
21se Alexander ViklundChilliwack BruinsWHL
22by Sergei ShelegSudbury WolvesOHL
23cz Jan StranskyGatineau OlympiquesQMJHL
24cz Stepan NovotnyKelowna RocketsWHL
25de Phillip GrubauerBelleville BullsOHL
26ru Dmitri KugryshevQuebec RempartsQMJHL
27sk Tomas HricinaRegina PatsWHL
28cz Jakub SvobodaSaginaw SpiritOHL
29sk Filip JanosikLewiston MAINEiacsQMJHL
30sk Michal SiskaKamloops BlazersWHL
31sk Miroslav PreisingerSarnia StingOHL
32cz Michal HlinkaChicoutimi SagueneensQMJHL
33ru Maksim MayorovBrandon Wheat KingsWHL
34cz Robert KousalOshawa GeneralsOHL
35by Artem DemkovCape Breton Screaming EaglesQMJHL
36sk Oliver JokelSwift Current BroncosWHL
37ru Sergei KorostinLondon KnightsOHL
38ru Igor GolovkovDrummondville VoltigeursQMJHL
39by Kirill GotovetsBrandon Wheat KingsWHL
40ru Evgeny GrachevBrampton BattalionOHL
41cz Tomas PetracekRimouski OceanicQMJHL
42se Stefan WargSeattle ThunderbirdsWHL
43de Maximilian EngelbrechtNiagara IceDogsOHL
44by Alexander FominMoncton WildcatsQMJHL
45cz Dominik PacovskyKootenay IceWHL
46ru Evgeny MolotilovGuelph StormOHL
47ru Sergey OstapchukRouyn-Noranda HuskiesQMJHL
48by Igor RevenkoPrince Albert RaidersWHL
49cz Richard JarusekSaginaw SpiritOHL
50sk Radovan PulisAcadie-Bathurst TitansQMJHL
51ru Mikhail FisenkoVancouver GiantsWHL
52ru Kirill PolozovBarrie ColtsOHL
53ru Sergei PlotnikovChicoutimi SagueneensQMJHL
54cz Ales FriebKootenay IceWHL
55cz Jan LatalPlymouth WhalersOHL
56lv Edgars UlescenkoCalgary HitmenWHL
57dk Simon GrønvaldtKitchener RangersOHL
58sk Andrej KudrnaVancouver GiantsWHL
59cz Lukas MatejkaKelowna RocketsWHL
60ru Bogdan KiselevichTri-City AmericansWHL
61se Erik KarlssonMississauga St. Michael's MajorsOHL
65ch Dominik SchlumpfShawinigan CataractesQMJHL
66cz Andrej PalatSeattle ThunderbirdsWHL
68lv Roberts BukartsVictoriaville TigreQMJHL
69sk Marek ViedenskyPrince George CougarsWHL
70kz Yakov VorobievOttawa 67'sOHL
71be Mitch MorganVal-d-Or ForeursQMJHL
73ru Ruslan BashkirovPeterborough PetesOHL
75cz Zdenek OkalMedicine Hat TigersWHL
77se Jonathan SääfVal-d'Or ForeursQMJHL
91ru Roman BashkirovSarnia StingOHL
100it Marco InsamNiagara IceDogsOHL
106ru Alexander DenezhkinOshawa GeneralsOHL

Story added on 27th June 2008 at 06:15 GMT
Story submitted by: Alessandro Seren Rosso.

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